Severe lower backache among school children is rising alarmingly in the city and in many cases the condition has worsened in students as young as 15-year-old. Ahead of the exam season, the number of children turning up at the doctors’ clinics have gone up, health experts said. Increasing incidents of obesity, long hours of inactivity, carrying heavy school bags and studying on laptops or notepads are the reasons behind the spike in cases, said experts.
Age-group of kids suffering from backache has dipped drastically and students as young as 10-year-old are doing rounds at spine specialists.
Doctors belonging to Association of Spine Surgeons of India say they are seeing at least 15-20 cases now, as compared to just 5-6 young patients about five years ago. But general physicians say the figures are more with at least 20 students landing at their chambers. “The cases of students complaining of back problems are increasing over the years and its time that parents look into the matter carefully,” said Dr Sukumar Sura, spine surgeon, Star hospitals.
The lower back pain is usually caused by damage to the disc. Often lack of exercise leads to severe degeneration of the disc, which causes the disc to come out of its place. This is turn causes compression to the nerve, leading to severe pain. “We are even witnessing students of Class 9 and 10 suffering with severe degeneration of the disc,” Sura said.
In one such case, a Class 4 student sought medical help after suffering from backache for months. The boy’s schedule included tuition classes’ for hours and no physical activity. The child’s parents had to be counselled to let him have some free time. Back pain among children is largely due to heavy school bags they carry, while high school students suffer with the problem due to exam stress.
“Not just Hyderabad, but the incidence is on the rise in other tier II cities across India, where there is lot of competition and students prepare for competitive exams. In fact the onset can be as early as Class 4 students and by the time they reach Class 9 or 10, the pain peaks and it continues into their youth. The situation is worse in students staying at hostels, where they study without any breaks,” explains Dr Raghav Dutt, President, Association of Spine Surgeons of India and consultant spine surgeon at Udai Omni Hospital.
Ref: Times Of India